MANHATTAN (CN) – A month after ruling that landlords could be liable for ignoring racial harassment and discrimination in their buildings, the Second Circuit withdrew the 2-1 decision Monday without explanation.
The case originated in Kings Park Manor, a senior living apartment complex on Long Island, where Donahue Francis said his 2010 move-in quickly triggered an escalating tirade of racism from his next-door neighbor.
Police warned the neighbor to stop, eventually arresting the man for aggravated harassment, but that building managers did nothing to intervene.
Francis said his tormentor remained a tenant in the building until a state court entered a protective order forbidding contact with him.
A federal judge initially dismissed Francis’ case, but the Second Circuit reinstated it last month.
The 35-page opinion cites a 2016 amicus brief from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which advised that landlords can be held liable under the Fair Housing Act “in certain circumstances” for tenant-on-tenant harassment.
Francis’ attorney, Sasha Samberg-Champion of Relman, Dane & Colfax, declined to comment Monday on the ruling’s withdrawal. Kings Park Manor had been represented in the case by Stanley Somer with the firm Somer, Heller & Corwin. Somer did not respond to a request for comment.